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Guide on the Extraordinary Measures for the Restriction of the Proliferation of COVID-19 to Businesses and Labour Relations in Cyprus 

by Alexandros Efstathiou

Published: May, 2020

Submission: May, 2020

 



Fiscal Support Schemes


Full suspension of operations


Companies the operations of which were mandatorily suspended, pursuant to the pertinent Decisions of the Council of Ministers and decrees of the Minister of Health, includinginter aliashopping centres, department stores, cafes, coffeehouses, bars and all catering businesses (excluding delivery services), entertainment venues, cinemas, theatres, performance venues, libraries, museums, archaeological and historical sites, bookies, casinos, sports facilities, sports clubs, cultural associations and clubs, theme parks, barber shops, hairdressers, beauty salons, construction works (except licensed public utility projects), and all retail sector businesses (except certain exempt categories) may benefit from the Full Suspension of Operations Scheme, pursuant to which 90% of the employees may benefit temporarily from the special unemployment benefit (which is equal to 60% of the regular salary, with a maximum benefit of Euro 1.214) until the business ensues and they may return to work. 10% of the employees, including directors-shareholders, partners that hold more than 20% of the share capital, general managers and managerial staff shall not be entitled to this benefit; if this category of employees exceeds 10% of the personnel, some may be eligible for the benefit. Further, in case that the business employs 9 employees or fewer, all employees shall be entitled to this benefit, excluding directors-shareholders. It is noted that for employees that do not fulfil the minimum conditions necessary for receipt of benefits from the Social Insurance Fund, the special unemployment benefit may reach 40% of the January 2020 salary or of the latest salary declared to the Social Insurance Services, with a maximum benefit of Euro 1.214 for a one-month period (as of 13.04.2020 there is also a minimum of Euro 360 for a one-month period).


It is provided that no employees must have been terminated as of 01.03.2020, in order to be eligible for this Scheme, and must not terminate any employees, on economic/financial grounds, during the period of participation in the Scheme plus a period equal to that period plus one month. The employer may still terminate on the following grounds: conduct rendering the employee subject to summary dismissal, and conduct making it clear that the relationship between employer and employee cannot reasonably be expected to continue, commission of a serious disciplinary or criminal offence, indecent behaviour, or repeated violation or ignorance of employment rules.


Please note that businesses the operations of which have been suspended, pursuant to the said decrees, still have the ability to perform administrative or other tasks behind closed doors on the condition that all hygiene rules are complied with and a minimum of 8 sq.m. per person are ensured.


A precondition of an 80% loss in turnover was added to the Scheme on 03.04.2020 by relevant decree of the Minister of Labour, Welfare and Social Insurance.


This Scheme is in effect between 16.03.2020 – 12.06.2020.


More information and the relevant electronic application forms can be found at the following link


The complete updated Guide on the extraordinary measures for the restriction of the proliferation of Covid-19 to businesses and labour relations in Cyprus may be found here.


 


 

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